Case Study

Virtualising the IT environment for greater resiliency and efficiency.

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“I would thoroughly recommend Frontline to take you comfortably through the whole process. We had no previous expertise at all with virtualisation, but were taken through the stages in layman’s terms before we began planning and implementing.” Ian Dando, IT Technical Manager, Frank Roberts & Sons Ltd

Roberts Bakery

Frank Roberts & Sons is a thriving fourth generation family bakery business that was founded in 1887. With over 900 employees, the Frank Roberts Group is proud to play an important part in its local communities and the cooling towers at the front of Roberts Bakery have become a renowned Cheshire landmark.

The risk of business downtime

After deciding that they needed more resiliency built into their IT environment, the team at Frank Roberts & Sons embarked on a process of virtualisation to provide them with a disaster recovery strategy in the event of downtime.

Ian Dando, IT Technical Manager at Frank Roberts & Sons, said, “A decision was made to look at virtualisation with the goal of enabling instant recovery from a failed server, allowing for more frequent disk data backups and to duplicate all servers into two separate locations for the purpose of a fail over to either server, should it become necessary.”

At the time, Frank Roberts & Sons were running around 20 separate HP servers, each with their own copy of Windows and had very little resilience in place with just RAID disks and tape. This would have meant that in the event of downtime, recovery times would have been extended and the business needed a more robust solution in place for the future.

Virtualising your way to business resiliency

To deliver the virtualisation of their server estate, Frontline was chosen as Frank Roberts & Sons’ technology partner. Frontline undertook a project of virtualising the server estate and putting in place a more resilient IT environment with the ability to fail over between servers.

Ian Dando commented, “We decided to virtualise with Frontline as we have used them for over ten years on a number of hardware and software implementations. Frontline have always provided an excellent service to us, both in hardware installation and continued support afterwards.”

During the early stages of the project there were a few issues with failed components of new equipment supplied by the hardware vendor, however this was diagnosed quickly and resolved efficiently by the Frontline team
– enabling the project to continue without delay.

Strong foundations in place for the future

Frank Roberts & Sons now have a solution in place that allows for greater business continuity, and quicker recovery in the event of a hardware or software failure. Moreover, the project has also delivered cost savings due to the reduced number of servers to power and cool, enabling Frank Roberts & Sons to achieve a Return on Integration from their IT environment.

Frank Roberts & Sons now have future plans to virtualise their remaining servers which support their SAP environment.

Why Frontline

Frontline was chosen to deliver this project due
to our experience delivering virtualisation solutions and our ability to take customers throughout the entire project process – from identifying the appropriate solution through to ongoing support and maintenance. This is all part of our commitment to a
Connected Delivery service methodology – where business requirements are integrated and connected to IT solutions for better outcomes.

Find out how our methodology helped Frank Roberts & Sons achieve Return on Integration